Nice: Words to those who are saddened. Parler. Talk.
Don't worry be happy & SAIP: the official government alert system to inform populations

Retourner sa veste? Would we be safer in Mexico? State of Emergency in France


Jean-Marc with friends who came to visit, yesterday. That is little Céline and Raphael, and Laurence (wearing the hat. Her father was best friends with Jean-Marc's father.)

TODAY'S WORD: retourner sa veste

    : to change sides (politically, etc), to go over to the other side

ECOUTER- Listen to Jean-Marc read the following French words:
Download Sound File

Changer de camp ou d'opinion par intérêt et non en vertu de principes moraux, afin de saisir une occasion ou d'échapper à une menace.
To change camp or opinion by self interest and not by virtue of moral principals, in order to seize an occasion or avoid a threat.

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    by Kristi Espinasse

On Tuesday Jean-Marc and I cut through a Mediterranean pine forest for a walk along the craggy coastline near Bandol. As waves of saltwater slammed against the ochre-red cliff across the bay, we were struck by a not-so-new reality. We just hadn't spoken about it yet.

"I read in three different newspapers this morning that France is on the verge of a civil war. Don't you think the press is sensationalizing things?" Finishing my sentence, I fully expected my husband to brush off such fears. But he did not answer right away.

"I didn't want to admit this--but there are 10,000 terror suspects on the watch list in France. And if they all activated at once...." Jean-Marc did not need to finish his sentence. Instead my mind carried on with a scary string of images. I remembered one of the articles which reported certain Southern French countrymen (truffle farmers?) were, in response to the threat, stocking up on hunting rifles in recent weeks. I recalled the one Jean-Marc bought last year. I didn't know how to use it. Would I use it? Would he?

Such a scenario was surreal. Or was it "sur" "real" -- "on" to reality? If we are not to live in denial, are we to be coming up with a plan?

"We could move to Colorado." Jean-Marc offered, with a half-smile (so he was kidding? right?). But how much safer was Colorado--given the news of civil unrest in America?

"We could go to Mexico." Almost as soon as I said it, I could hear a collective Booooo! (Coming from where? My conscience? Or from you, dear reader. Was that you who just bood? Maybe you overheard me bragging, recently--proud to tell others I have lived more than half my life in France (did that make me more French than American? Or just horribly smug? or, worse, unpatriotic?)

After pride comes The Fall. As those salty waves, below, continued to crash against the cliff, I looked over at the Frenchman walking beside me, and I thought about my would-be plan: You cannot take all the good that a country has to offer --and then abandon ship when the going gets tough! You cannot be an expat expat!

But I have never been an expat. A foreigner in France, yes. A resident, yes. An alien, often! An immigrant, by definition. An expat? Not in the sense of being unpatriotic! But I would feel like an ex-patriot if I left France during her time of trouble.

During France's current state of emergency, I will not, as the French say, retourner ma veste. I will not skip back and forth to whichever country benefits me at the moment. But I cannot lie, I am tempted to. If it means finding refuge.

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Just two of the perks France has to offer. Jean-Marc, with 8-year-old, Celine, who was decorating Chief Grape, with the help of the blue ribbon that came on the box of cake she and her family brought us. I leave you with this tender image, and thanks for reading.

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I got the floral-embroidered top in Mexico. (You can get one by clicking here).Jean-Marc got the pretty satin headband in France, remember? Not sure where Laurence got her hat, but you can buy one - click here and scroll down the page.

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Maggie G

The truest (only?) refuge is with those we love, and what we love. The rest is illusion and panic.


I just read an article in Science News that addresses depression. They've found a link between gut bacteria and depression. When depressed mice were given gut bacteria from a healthy mouse, their mood improved significantly. Seems odd, but there was a direct connection. The authors suggested eating various strains of yogurt and also asparagus or taking a probiotic pill regularly. It took several weeks for the new gut bacteria to take effect.

More and more mental illness is being tied to physical causes rather than psychological, but I am not saying it cannot be that also.

Geraldine Ventura

It is so sad that we have allowed terrorists to dominate our thoughts and our peace and security. Our beautiful world is threatened! But we cannot give in to them. All civilized countries need to stand together and get back to a world that honors God. Don't give up your life in France. You would be giving in to terrorism. Just what they want!


For some reason the good Brigidine sisters taught us to sing La Marseillaise at my Australian boarding school ... courage mes amis :) G

catharine ewart-touzot

It is indeed a difficult decision. Our governments have betrayed us in allowing the terrorist a massive foothold, but it appears to me that France is acting upon the emergency and taking a stand. Your children's life is in France and so is yours. I too am married to a Frenchman. I had always planned on retiring in France where I spent my youth; but my children are Americans and their life is here so I pray that our next leader is Donald Trump, and although not a perfect man, and that he will be able to accomplish some of the things he has proposed. Hillary has promised to carry on the policies of Obama which have brought us to this state. I have wondered the same over the past few years as the lives of all have become more difficult and I have decided to stay and fight, even at my older age for the world I want for my children and grandchildren rather than to go to a new world with new problems and no history.

Our French Oasis

I am still, even with the terrorists, very happy and feeling very privelaged to be living in France. Is it really any better anywhere else? The world is in a mess, there is far too much hatred, little bit by little bit we must do what we can to build a better future.

John B.

Well said. For one whose home airport is Montreal, living in New York's Adirondack Mountains, Canada beckons in troubled times. We face daunting challenges and my heart goes out to France. I recently completed a week in the Vercors. Unbelievable hospitality in a beautiful and rugged region. Living well is a hallmark of my French experience and I thank the French for setting high standards. I am sure they will move beyond the current challenges.


I've notice the yellow shirt on your picture and it made me smile! I'm Brazilian, living in the US for over 25 years. My children and my husband are Americans and I wouldn't trade the safety of the life we created together for any other place in the world, unless for reasons of safety. Stay put, don't give up, that's exactly what the terrorist want,but always be ready to protect your family if necessary. I will keep you and your family in my prayers...
Thank you for your site, you are a gifted writer! I truly enjoy your stories, pictures and all the lessons.
Best regards,

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,

I agree with Geraldine....we all need to stand together and honor God. We all need to pray for our countries, love each other and make our little place in the world better. What happened to just helping each other, loving each other. Treat others the same way you want the to treat you.

I too agree with Catharine. Donald Trump is a flawed candidate as we all are flawed but he is the right man for this time in our country. Our country is in chaos and I really worry for the future of America and the whole world.

Kathleen from Connecticut

We will be in France for Christmas and New Years. You can't hide and still live. I want live and enjoy my life now and in the future. Wherever you go there are terrorists - blacks, police and innocent people being killed.
I feel sorry for the children of today. What will life be for them,but every generation says the same thing. Although I think that there is a faster changing world today and we don't have any idea what the future holds. Climate change, technology, terrorists, Putin, ISIS, fighting in Africa & the Middle East, China spreading its wings, North Korea...there is so much more, on every continent, but you can't stop living.
How morbid I got. Let's sing praises to the summer, to the sun and to life. Go out and seize the day. Do something fun, something out of the box. I am making stuffed zucchini blossoms and tapas tonight and having some friends over to enjoy the feast. 😎 👍🍅🧀🍷🎼

Nancy Stilwagen

So much of our bodies' functions depend on a healthy gut. Make fermented foods a daily part of your diet. Yogurt, kimchee, sauerkraut, etc, etc. The cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, has some great information on fermented foods.

Teresa Person

I hope peace comes to France and the USA... I live in Texas and don't feel safe going to Mexico anymore... Too many bad guys down there too... And a bit of lawlessness as well... I hope to visit France again... But every time we talk about planning a trip ... Something happens....I think we have to all stay w/ our country and fight for it...I also hope Trump becomes President ... Anything is better than where we are headed now.... Peace and prayers for you, your family and France... Xo, Teresa


OK. I guess it is hard to discuss this without mentioning Donald Trump, who has based his entire campaign on fear and loathing and hating "the other." So much for the US Republican being the party of "compassionate conservatism," if it ever was. So much for giving us solutions instead of red meat for the masses. You've got to trust me a bit here, as I worked in politics for a dozen years, but the way people get elected is by researching what people are FEELING and then playing that back for them in speeches and TV commercials. It's not that Trump "understands you and your problems," (can you actually imagine that an uber-rich guy understands you???) it's that he did research and is telling you what you want to hear. Simple as that. Following a bullying demagogue has never been smart; ask people across Europe who have marched to war innumerable times at their behest. It amuses me that US schools are all full of "anti-bullying" programs, while those kids parents seem more than ready to elect one as President.

Kristi. Stay put. Live your life. That is all any of us can do. Peace. Sorry for the overtly political post.....

Bill in St. Paul

If you give into fear, you've let them win. Just look at Donald Trump's campaign: based on fear and scaring people into voting for one of the least qualified and vilest persons to ever run for president. The supporters of Donnie have drunk the Kool-Aid, I just hope we all don't end up having to drink it, too.

Sue Lennox

It's no picnic here either, Kristi--too many guns, too many angry people. We all just have to try to bring some kindness into our own small sphere and hope it spreads.

Audrey Wilson

So true all these comments .If we give in& flee then they have achieved another step in their plan to turn the Western world into an world ruled by their barbaric rules & religion .
I was a war time child in Britain . The brits stayed put in the terrible blitz, We made do with shortages, rationing, being evacuated away from our parents who stayed in all the danger etc & came through it, beating that evil . We can do it again .

Kim Arnold

This is what I remind myself every time I get on an airplane or find myself in a dangerous situation:

"...all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Ps.139:16)

I'll go when it's my time to go. In the meantime, I cannot live out the rest of my life in fear. Love wins in the end.

There is only one safe place in this violent, hate-filled world.

"...but the Lord supported me.
He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me." (2 Sam.)

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deut. 33:27)

Bon courage à tous!


Kristin, the civil unrest is creating unrest within all our minds. I'm contemplating starting to seriously limit the amount of time I spend on social media, so as to limit my exposure to all the anxiety-reduced talk. Yet, I also don't want to sound ignorant. I do care, just as we all care. I believe that most of us are doing our best to stay positive amid the turbulence.

As for being an expat, I don't believe that we ever truly are expats. Having emigrated / immigrated twice in my life thus far, I never stopped caring for the countries in which I was born and where I lived. Instead, I see myself more as a global citizen, a nomad of sorts, and this, paradoxically, makes me feel at home.

Thinking of you and sending you wishes of peace and tranquility!

Patricia Cowan

Very well said...hopefully people will see the leadership and desire to bring people together once again. I heartily support Mr. Trump's drive to the White House and hope to get people to realize how much that happens is distorted by a media that hates his idea of America's greatness. With our country once again leading the world, FREEDOM will follow. Two in my family are police and everyday they go to work wanting nothing more than to protect ALL the people of their community...but they see and hear a lack of support from many so-called leaders in the country. With Mr. Trump in charge, we will once again support fully our police and home and abroad.
My sad heart fills with love and prayers for France...and the world.
We will defeat the barbarians trying to storm the gates of civilation, together.

Kim Arnold

p.s. I ordered two of your Mexican shirts!



Good for you. It is a difficult decision given the continual barrage of unrelenting news. I have lived in Paris for almost 10 yrs now
And will continue to take metros and buses etc. one needs to be aware but you can't stop living. But then I am old and don't have a young family and many years ahead of me. So it is an easier commitment for me. So bravo. I do so enjoy your newsletters andthis is the first time I have made a comment.
Bless you


Kristi, I love reading your blog ... and the honesty of your writing.

As Kim has written above our only true safety lies in our security in Christ. Peter wrote almost 2,000 years ago: "This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are SHIELDED by GOD'S POWER until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." 1Pe 1:4,5

Blessings on you and your family


That is funny you write about moving to Mexico! I have told my husband that if Trump gets elected I need to move to Canada! I am desperately scared that if Trump gets elected here there will indeed be riots. I live in Los Angeles, home of the Rodney King riots. I was working in Beverly Hills at the time, the doctor let us go early to get home, it was 3:30 in the afternoon. By then the streets were already packed with cars, people were lined up at gas stations, it took me close to 3 hours to get home, which is normally a 30-45 minute drive. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty around the world. There is no real safe place. Look at Norway and that nut who went crazy shooting hundreds of young people on that island. We all want to feel safe, and so we are vulnerable to over-reacting. France has been through much in it's history. Unlike Great Britain, it is flanked by other countries that it has had to fight-off for centuries. My Norwegian language teacher talks about what it was like to live in Norway during German occupation. If you do go to Mexico, try Cabo, there are lots of Americans living there, no doubt you'll probably find a few Frenchmen as well!

Cynthia Gillespie-Smith

Oh dear!

Vance Anderson-Inks

I agree with several of the above comments. Right now Donald Trump is America's best hope, and I am 100% behind him. I've lived all around the globe, including as a neighbor of your Mother, Jules, in Puerto Vallarta for 15 years. There have always been risks of potential dangers, from the wee to Huge. We have to stand up for what is right, use common sense in our everyday lives. Sometimes that means pulling in the reins of what we want to do, and what is appropriate to do at that time. Right now no place is "safe", but some places safer than others. We have to live our lives a bit differently now. But, we cannot live cowering. When we do, the bad guys win.


"God is our refuge and help, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Stay where you are, Kristin, and find your refuge in Him. It is no different here. There are terrorist cells in all fifty states and trouble is brewing here just as surely as there ~ and most everywhere. The whole world is catching on fire, as one pundit put it. Keep living your life (and posting FWAD!), be aware of where you go, and trust Him.


Indeed, fear is all around these days. Let us stay balanced and look with care at the political situation and avoid a impulsive reaction. Above all let us work for the good and remember our many blessings! Enjoy the remaining summer! Hot here on Cape Cod!

Jan L

Hi Kristin, Do not believe you have to be unpatriotic to be an expatriate (one who lives outside their country). I was an expatriate Australian in England for many years - nothing to do with 'patriotism'. I look at all the refugees from war-torn countries and feel that their situation is far worse than ours - and many of them are not allowed to enter another country! We should be thankful that there are so many good people in the world. One worries about terrorism to be sure, but car accidents and domestic violence kill more people far more often.

Nan Morrissette

Praise to you, dear Kristie and Jean-Marc, for being thinking, rational, sensitive souls. You won't be seduced by that possibly greener grass on the other side of the fence. You have enough real experience with other countries and cultures to understand the realities of a major move. We are following your words, which no doubt might apply to most countries in the world, about now. You will make the best decision for your family.


Please read this and then tell me he's our "best hope." I think the thing that jumps out to me is the word "sociopath."

Art Lindenberg

In September, we will return to France as we do every year. I do not believe that we will feel that we are in any greater danger than we are when we travel to "major targets" in the United States, like New York City. In fact, there are no longer any major targets, and the world is pretty crazy. But we have joie la vie, and we will not give in to any notion, rumor, or threat of terrorism. We cannot let ourselves lose out on a precious life.

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Your heart will guide you.

I moved alone to NYC in 1999, but became a New Yorker on Sep 11, 2001. I left NY in 2004, but not bc of terrorism fears.

I find it distressing that readers are using your comment section for their personal political agendas.

I am currently reading Sebastian Junger's Tribe. Interesting read.

Wishing you love and peace.


...Kristin... I was a 'expat' for 3 years, living in Paris and loving every moment of it! We have returned to France every 2 years since 1991 and stay for a month. The USA is under siege by many factions and now policeman fear for their lives too! Our world has gone mad all over the globe today. I do not know a 'safe place'.. but I know where my heart and home are. I am an American who just happens to love being in France better than being here. We are ancient now and do not have the money it would take to move there, but if I ever win the lottery we will rent a home there for a year on and off! Amidst all the horrific incidents in France and elsewhere , we must all summon up the courage deep within the well of our souls and carry on for ourselves and our family and our country! It is time to be even more loving to those around us and to show courage in every way we can! To me, now that I am 75! YEEGADS!! I am a believer in that ATTITUDE is 90 % of every battle we fight, within and outside of ourselves! We leave for France August 29th for a little more than a month... we cannot wait. I am very happy today as I have sworn off politics until I walk into the voting booth in November! I feel better already... God Bless you, JM and your lovely family and just stay put in your own little heaven you both have created! Bon courage, Judi Dunn, Tallahassee, Fl.


I have worried about France since 2001. My first trip there was to Goult in the Luberon in 1999. Got to our rented home late Saturday afternoon and the next day drove to Apt to find some breakfast provisions. We had lunch and then went seeking an open grocery store. Naturally we forgot all were closed as it was a Sunday....but in our search we walked deeper and deeper into the neighborhoods and ended up in one where all the residents came out and stood and stared at us like we should not be there. A friend took me aside and said we are in a Muslim neighborhood (he had been to France before)and told me to be very careful. This was my very first time meeting them...and I grew up in the inner city of Chicago and went to school with all sorts of minorities. We did find an open store and bought the basics and said Merci and left. I felt VERY uncomfortable. That same trip we planned on visiting Marseilles and were warned by a local in Menerbes that we should NOT go there. Too dangerous is what she said. So we crossed that one off the list. In 2000 we again stayed at the same home in Goult and never even gave Marseilles a thought...nor did we enter deep into Apt. Our 3rd trip was scheduled for 9/14/2001. Naturally the disaster in NYC and flight ban held us up for 5 days before we could go. The trip over on Air France was fine. The trip from Paris to Marseilles, however, was VERY intimidating. We were frisked thoroughly before boarding the plane. However, I could not believe seeing that the security people just let the Muslims skip past them and board without even a stroke of the wand. Once aboard, they "played" us...constantly checking their watches, staring at us,running up and down the aisles, occupying the lavatories, dialing their cell phones and running up to the cockpit. It was the flight from hell. Another family member had the exact same experience the next day coming in from London. She was weak with fright when she disembarked the plane. That whole trip had a black cloud over it afterwards as France never seemed the same idyllic paradise...and their presence was far more noticeable. A few years later actress Bridget Bardot wrote either an article or book about them and how fearful she was that France was being taken over by a very dark culture. She did it solely as an animal activist as she was horrified to see what they were doing to animals when slaughtering them for their Eid festival. She was then labeled a bigot, racit, xenophobe, etc., by the liberal media got fined about $25K US. Now I sort of wonder if the French government will give her a well-deserved refund. She was just telling the truth and was the sentinel at the gate.

Ken Curtis

We're both Americans living abroad in countries that are under a state of emergency. You're in France and I am on the south coast of Turkey. I have no plans to leave either, because this is where I chose to live. Americans in the United States live with a delusion that it is a 'safe' country, but there are more murders in the US in a month than there are on the south coast of Turkey in a year - and should they elect Trump, the US will become even scarier. But I must disagree with going to Mexico as it has also become an extremely violent country due to the drug cartel wars and kidnappings of foreignors. Yep - you're much better off staying where you are.

Elizabeth Dawson

Love and peace, non-violence and living without fear. If you must go somewhere for sanctuary, go within and fill your heart with love. And let that love radiate to all. Where are our energies best focused? On love. Peace and Love to you and your beautiful hearts. Live fearless!


I hate to interject politics here but Trump would be a complete disaster. Please read the best summary I have found of who this man is: He is using fear to engender support. And much of what he says is baseless. He is a tyrant. Remember Hitler and the masses who swooned in his support. There are distinct parallels.

Yes, we need a fresh start and a new perspective. But what about a peaceful one? Bernie Sanders has demonstrated a pacific approach. And I have long believed that diplomacy that looks at root problems vs. aggression will win over malintended factions. America is largely hated for its aggressive, self-seeking actions in recent times. We need to be better than that. And Trump won't help. He is only creating larger divisions with his bullying sociopathic demeanor.


Also see this from the revered historian, Ken Burns:


Agreed. And I have noted above, those who are buying into him are less informed and succumbing to fear.


i have been planning a move to France for retirement my whole life. The possibility exists that either next year or the next, it could happen. I am watching and waiting because the world is a very unstable place at the moment. It isn't just France. The US, all of the EU, the Middle East, Russia, Chiina, North Korea, and parts of Africa are all unstable. I am biding my time to see how the politics play out. Worse case, my mother is Canadian and I can get Canadian citizenship, which would not be a bad thing at all.


I have been traveling to the your beautiful country for the last 9 years and absolutely enjoy returning every year for 4 weeks. I have friends who run a small hotel in Paris and I have told them that the '#%*#' who have created all the fear over the last 18 months or so will not deter me from my visit to both Paris and Nice this September. I refuse to let the 'cafards' win. They are all cowards and creatures of the night who scatter and hide in the light of the day. I will visit the museums, the side walk cafes, use the metro, etc. As someone who lives in a country that seems to willingly accept 10 deaths a day due to guns, France seems like a relatively safe harbor to me. I plan on visits for the next 20 years. I have found my place of quiet and peace in the Luberon. Jim

Julie Farrar

As someone who is a U.S. resident and lives in one of the cities with the most racial unrest and as a sometime resident in France who has managed to be snug in my apartment there when two of the worst terrorist events have happened in our adopted country, I still hold to the belief that there are more good people than bad. I see it every day at my church and in my community. Loveisloveisloveislove said Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pulitzer prize-winning writer.

It does horrify me, though, that in both France and America the worst parts of our nature are coming to the surface and getting traction. It has become too much of an "us against them" narrative. As we've heard before, all it takes for evil to flourish is for a good person to do nothing. We've seen it more than once. So when I return to the U.S. in August, I'm going to work to make sure that Donald Trump and his white supremacist misogynistic supporters don't make it to the White House.

Bon courage, Kristi.


Things are flying to hell in a handbasket here in the US. There seems to be no refuge from the chaos. :(


As a french property owner, and part time resident of France, it can all be very worrisome. Sort of how I felt in high school, Viet Nam war, the energy crisis. It all seemed hopeless, and what could one 17 year old do? I really thought that when I grew up, there would be no gas, and oil would coat all the California beaches. But you have to put one foot ahead of the other, finish school, start your family, work at something you hopefully love. That doesn't mean its ok to hide your head in the sand. Throw your support to an issue; gun control, Black lives Matter, Climate Change...whatever concerns you most.

French and American voters have some tough choices ahead. Lets hope cooler, heads prevail.

Valerie, Ph.D.

Dear Kristi and Jean Marc, I was simply going to say, after seeing the picture of Céline and JM, Thank you--you are such angels! And, then, read as I scrolled down to so many address the fear and chaos we all must deal with. Please, remember the spiritual truth to look within--we all have loving wisdom to draw upon. We get into trouble when we look outside ourselves. Even external God--for anyone who appreciates the possibility of a Divine Source--look to your inner connection. We all must be vigilant for our minds: it's so easy to have negative fantasies--what if this, what about that. Some of the readers touch on our most powerful healing tool--love. Also, we must not be afraid of the truth. A few links were given by wise readers [Tom with the brilliant Ken Burns interview; Ron with the important New Yorker story by the man who wrote "Art of the Deal"] should by read by all. And Thank you Judodunn, ATTITUDE is most important--your spirit, where you are coming from--let it be uplifted and positive, not raging and terrified.
By the way my mother's family were American from France, my father was one of our first pilots--flew in France for the US Air Force. After his law degree, he worked for a huge US law firm in Paris, married my mother in NY, then went back and they lived in Paris for 5 years (way before I was born). I love France, especially Southern France, but have only been able to have short visits. Once I stayed in a hotel in Nice overlooking the ocean across the street--exactly where that devastation just occurred. I am so sorry, and wish healing for ALL of us. [Kristi, would you fix this so only my first name is used? can't figure out Typepad...]


Yes, keep on living & traveling!


In France it is the Arab extremists causing destruction. In the USA, it can be anyone doing destruction. Doesn't say much for our citizens. I am appalled. Would move to France too, esp if Trump gets elected. I'm not young either.


Good letter. I totally agree with you. Obama and Hillary have buried their heads in the sand. Read Oriana Falaggi's "The Pride and the Rage." This late hero was like Bridget Bardot...another sentinel at the gate warning Italy of this coming plague. Also Mark Steyn...and the hated (by the Left) Geert Wilders. They have been warning Europe of this for over a decade but no one wants to face the truth.

I'm glad I'm old. The next several generations are going to find nothing but misery unless we take a stand now.


Some great replies here that I agree with. Peace is in your heart,& safety too. The world quivers these days. No place is 100% safe.

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Maggie G, this is an extraordinary remark, succinct, powerful and true. I would love to pass it along to others, as having come from 'Maggie G', of course: in my email signature line, and even on my facebook page -- with your permission. Email or facebook ...
Please let me know if I may do that?
Fingers crossed,
Kitty Wilson
(on fb as Kit Wilson-Pote, in Canada)


More mass killings in Europe...Munich as I write. Wonder who is responsible?

joie in Carmel

beautifully said.

Herm in Phoenix, AZ

Hopefully President Trump will be able to stop and reverse the destruction that the Obama administration has inflected on America.

Because of the illegal alien and drug problem here in Arizona we can, and do, carry weapons. Open carry and concealed are both allowed. It’s not unusual to see a man with a gun on his hip in the grocery store. Many women have small handguns in their purses

joie in Carmel

Ken Burns spoke volumes at the Stanford graduation and even more so in the interview with amanpour.


Le monde perdit le contrôle et tomba en vrille.
Trouve la paix avec la famille est les amis, oui vraiment!

joie in Carmel

I thought about moving to Switzerland.

joie in Carmel

After the January attacks in Paris there was a young man who lost his wife and he said some of the most profound words I have ever heard. In the end he said basically "je ne vais pas vivre ma vie dans la peur." If I do this, they will win. We must remember there is far more good in the world than bad. Yes we have to face reality, but we can change it too and good will surface in the end.

joie in Carmel

I believe your daughter Jacquie quoted someone last November and it was profound. "He who fears dies daily. He who does not, dies once."


I don't think it is civil war since it's not French civilians you have to worry about, but outside forces who never wanted to be French.

Joanne Ablan

Hi, Kristi,
Take a stand. I am reading, In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. It is narrative non-fiction about William
E Dodd, the American Ambassador, to Germany in 1933. Dodd takes his wife, two adult children, and his
Chevrolet to Berlin which was evidently quite a hip city at the time. He was constantly plagued by the issues of SA and SS violence to Americans who did not salute, Heil Hitler. His diplomatic counsel continually warned him that
one cannot reason with fanatics which, of course, on hindsight proved true. This book reads like a novel, but
appears to be well-documented. It gives a lot of insight into how surrendering to evil can be extremely seductive
to even the most high-minded, clear-sighted individuals. Despite the terrorism, I plan to travel at home and abroad.
Bon courage,

Patricia Ramos

Kristi, Wherever we live we are all facing the same worries. There seems to be dreadful news every today. Today it is Germany again, tomorrow ....who knows. My home country-England- is divided over the EU debacle,and immigrant problems etc. My adopted country (by marriage) - USA - is divided over race and the police, and immigration problems. Etc. Etc, and terrorism abounds "partout". We just have to have faith and trust and hope.., but mostly, love.

Hugs from here!!


It is a shame that Islam is wreaking such havoc in France. But it was all totally predictable and was in fact predicted by those who know the truth about Islam's evil doctrines and history. Islam is sending France , Germany, and the West a message but the socialists who run the show refuse to hear it.

The message is this: Islam is the political ideology of Islamic Totalitarianism. Plain basic Islam teaches the evils that are being committed rouund the world by Islamic Terrorists. There is no "Radical" Islam. There is only Islam, which as lived and taught by Mohammed is a terrible perversion of religion into political ideology. Islam teaches unending jihad until all non muslims are conquered and killed or exploited unless they convert. Islam spreads always and only by war and conquest. A muslim must lie to non muslims to advance islam. A muslim who leaves Islam must be killed. Sharia is against all basic human rights - it opposes free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of artistic expression, freedom of the press, equal protection of law, due process oflaw.

Islam has committed more that 28,856 deadly islamic terrorist attacks worldwide since Sept 11 01. If the French continue to pretend that islam is a religion ofpeace, Islam will conquer you and all your freedoms will be destroyed by sharia.

The French have a choice. They can stand up to Islam by legally declaring it is a subversive political ideology and not a religion within the meaning of their constitution and laws, and they can outlaw sharia courts, and refuse to enforce sharia, and they can end muslim immigration, and surveil mosques. Or they can have their civilization and many of themselves destroyed by Islam.

Joan L.

Great discussion today... And yes, The Garden of Eden is eye-opening.

Dawn Johnson

Amen. Nothing is more perfect and peace filling than God's word.

I don't normally comment but I have to this time.

It truely frightens me to read opinions from what most likely are decent people, supporting the blatant ugliness of Donald Trump and giving his words and behavior a free pass.

I read these comments from kind people who are generously excusing him as a "flawed" individual.

We are all "flawed" but it's a matter of degree and circumstance.

Do you, kind people, associate with"flawed" individuals who lash out at others, make fun of others, and lie about others?

Do you associate with flawed individuals who use exageration and lies to maipulate you?

I just ask these kind people who are willing to give Trump a chance at leading our country if they cultivate people as friends who are nasty,

mean spirited, braggarts, self centered, and willing to throw you under the bus for their own advantage? If not, please give your kind and

generous outlook toward this man a second thought ...or two. The future of what is good and decent depends upon you.

A Few Questions:

Do you know anyone who is Muslim?

If not, your words are hollow.

If you do know Muslims, have they tried to kill you? If not, how do you explain their behavior?

Fay Butler


You are confused, I think, if you believe that Muslims and Islam are the same thing.

Ken from NH

I read a very interesting article on CNN by Fareed Zakaria, whom I respect very much. He suggests that the deep seated reason for France being at the forefront of terrorism problems problems was the failure of many immigrants, even second or third generation, to integrate into French society. We have different but similar issues in the US. Alienating people more is never going to be the solution. Trump's fear mongering is the classic trading of liberty for safety. He doesn't explain HOW he is going to accomplish this safety or law & order. Please tell us Donald, what is the next step, allowing the CIA to spy on American citizens to ferret out terror cells, give the police much broader powers to control the population to make the streets safe. This police/citizen situation now is currently in a precarious balance, I don't think a crack down law & order candidate is the answer. This all sounds a little police state to me. I don't know with all the posts, if anyone will read this but, Trump IS NOT the answer. He has no political or foreign policy experience, no filter whatsoever. Do you really want a President, who knee jerk reacts with Twitter to the most pressing issues of the day. This is not leadership. I prefer a calm, thought out replies. The (sort of) joke here in New England is that Canada is going to have to build a wall to keep all the Yankees out. We are still planning on spending our allotted 90 days in France next year. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité- plus que mots

Chanelle M Carlin

I'm so impressed with those comments which are so focused on peace and love. As an American who once had the opportunity to live abroad for several years and am now back home to support family, I can completely feel your angst, Kristi. I love my homeland and truly loved by adopted Ireland. I am commenting now because I l always look forward to reading your posts and so appreciate your openness. I have recently made a change in my life that I am encouraging as many to do as I can. Stop reading and watching the news. Stop engaging in the ugliness on facebook/Twitter. Start telling each and every person you meet how much they matter to you. It may seem as though I am putting my head in the sand, but I truly believe that if we are to have peace and prosperity, we must focus on those things and not give so much energy and time to the negatives in our world. I am thankful for each and every little blessing I receive every day. Thank you for sharing your life with us, and for letting us share a bit of ours with you. You do make a difference. - Chanelle

faye lafleur

Journalist recently said about Trump that if there was an "emperor" of the world, Trump would run for that position. Icarus, in his arrogance and hubris, flew too close to the sun, melting his chariot, thereby plunging to his death. Hmmmm...well we know how humble Trump was Hitler. In his arrogance, he is making all these promises that are impossible to achieve.....unless he is God and just using the name Trump to make us believe he is one of us.....but plans to reveal his true identity once he gets elected.
For bob, you are truly misinformed...please keep reading.


Muslims are people. Some have good intentions, some have bad intentions, but all are exposed to the evil teachings of islam. And every now and then some young disturbed mind is so imbued with those evil teachings of islam that he goes out and murders a number of people in the name of Allah.Then he is called "radical" but he is just doing what basic Islam teaches.

Islam, on the other hand, is an ideology. And it is an ideology that is rotten at its core because at its core it teaches a God who hates non muslim. And it is a political ideology because it seeks to obtain complete political power and it has a complete set of laws, sharia, that control all aspects of human life and activity.

Do you actually know anything about Mohammed's life. How he dictated peaceful passages for the Koran when he was powerless in Mecca, but then dictated warlike passages when he became powerful in medina, andcame up with the doctrine of abrogation,under which the latter war verses cancels the earlier peaceful ones. How he personally let atleast 27 murderous robbing raids?How he murdered in cold blood some 600 or so men and boys of the Quraza tribe after they surrendered? How he tortured a jew by building a fire on his chest to find out where the treasure was? How he ordered all jews be driven out of Arabia on his death bed?How he put a passage in the koran saying Allah turned some jews into pigs and apes? How he called for assassinations from the mosque?

How he required muslims to pray the first chapter ofthe Koran 5 times a day, and in that chapter they pray to not be like the christians, who have gone astray, or like the jews, who God hates? How do you think people who pray 5 times a day to not be like you are going to assimilate into your civilization?


Our dear Kristi,
A beautiful,well written and thought provoking post today.
While I have always subscribed to FDR's words 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself',unfortunately in these times I more embrace Albert Einstein's view "We must learn to see the world anew" and act accordingly.
Keeping you,JM,and dear family in my prayers.

Leslie in Oregon

Thank you, Kristin, for giving your readers a forum in which to discuss, today, fear, terrorism, and the U.S. Presidential election. Regarding fear and terrorism: Living in the world has always involved fear and the threat of violence. I was raised in the U.S. during the Cold War, and I don't remember any time when the very real prospect, and fear, of instant annihilation by an atomic bomb wasn't in the back (or front) of my mind. The nature of war and our declared foes has changed, but the reality of human violence has not; the difference is that now we are confronted by it constantly because of instant, global communication and the 24-hour news cycle. Regarding the U.S. Presidential election: I am glad to hear directly from some Trump supporters, because I have yet to meet one, and I need to better understand why they support Mr. Trump. Courteous, civil discourse about the challenges we face is a good thing, and that is what we have had in this post and (almost all of) its comments. That we do not all agree make that kind of communication even more important!

Sheryl in Denver

When I met you in May and toured your lovely garden and home, I was on vacation, but I was also checking out Provence as a possible place to retourner ma veste, depending on what happens here in November. I have dreamt of retiring to France, growing lavender, making mosaics and learning how to cook all things French. I have also considered Canada (who I hear may build their own wall to keep the Americans out - ha!). I cried with every act of violence that France has suffered. I see so much unhappiness and unrest all over the world. Is there a "safe place" left anywhere? The only true refuge I find is in my heart and in Jesus, who asks us not to fear or to judge, but to trust and to love. I will not buy the hatred that some want to sell. I will not fear my neighbor - build bridges, not walls! I can't fix the world, but I can make changes in my home (like turning off the nightly news) and my neighborhood and my community. Grass roots is where it starts. I'm just an old hippie who'd "like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony." If your energy comes from a base of love, you've got the right start. If it comes from a place of division, fear and hatred, it won't end well. Hopefully, history has shown us how that turns out. I send you a warm hug, Kristi, and I thank you for the thought-inspiring words you write here. Write on! ;)

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Well said. I don't even have a FB page, though I do watch the national news, for the 1/2 hour it is broadcast from NYC, in order to stay informed. If I believe I need more information, then I turn to PBS or the BBC for another take given in a calm, direct manner. I subscribed to emails from a variety of candidates in the beginning, to get info direct vs 2nd hand, in order to form my own opinions.

Life is short. Communicate directly with friends and loved ones (even if via technology). Offer hugs; many need them. Acknowledge those you are grateful for and tell people why they are important to you.

Be careful to hold on to your true values and not let them get swept away in the storm.

Mary and Rod Neely

You always write so thoughtfully. The problem of the world and the solutions are way over my head. My friends are politically polarized, really intelligent people with opposite views. Soon I will be enjoying the sun of southern France and the opportunity of meeting you in September :a dream come true. I am counting my blessings today. Will hopefully figure out tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Mary and Rod


I think we must remember that those who practice terrorism in the name of Islam are people who are still living in the stone-age. The rest of the civilised world has moved centuries forward in their treatment of fellow humans. Any person who uses their faith (such as Islam) to promote male superiority, racism, abuse of women, support homophobia, kill freedom of speech and education for the betterment of all, murder their own people, etc, etc, can only be considered a bully and living in the dark ages. Why would anyone want to promote such a negative approach to life, when we can be so easily be peaceful, loving and respectful toward each other?
We need to be selective in who we choose to lead us - because Hitler and Idi Amin are always lurking in our midst and because we as humans are often more easily led by rhetoric and big egos. France is right to stand-up as they have done against the subversive political nature of Islam and the rest of the world must too. Vive la France!


I could not agree more with you Natalia.
We really MUST learn to see the world anew, and get back to some basics in life - truth, love, respect, kindness to all on earth.
I believe most of us in this wonderful world really do want this and we know that we have a 'boil that needs to be urgently lanced'; how powerful we could be together if we chose peace over the current madness that exists.


Je suis entièrement d'accord avec vous!

John Bell Smithback

There is no time better than NOW, and there is no place better than where you are at this moment.
I speak for you, I speak for me. I speak for everyone burdened by uncertainty.

Lauren Golden

Herm of Phoenix bought into Trump's propaganda that the Obama administration has brought destruction. It was George W. Bush that got that ball rolling. I'm sick and tired of all the ignorance and racism toward Obama and Hillary.

Marianne Rankin

I agree with Kristin. We can't leave our country in the lurch at its time of need. We need to take reasonable precautions, but we can't become an armed camp, either (and Colorado is not a good location for being more peaceful or safe; it has a high proportion of people who aren't fond of gun control).

Some individuals in the USA have been saying that depending on the outcome of the November election, maybe they will move to Canada or New Zealand or somewhere other than America (assuming those countries would let them in). My feeling is, if you are concerned about how the United States will be run, the last thing you should do is leave; stay put and make sure it remains a democracy.

Andrea Hughes

I totally disagree with you!


Our daughter was on the Kings Cross train that was bombed in 2005--mercifully she escaped unharmed (physically). We (her parents) now live in Australia and happened to arrive just after the event. The idea that she would leave the UK or that we would not go back there, never crossed any of our minds for a second. We have never given the danger a second thought.

In regards to the USA election. No-one outside the USA understands the many sources of rage that have built up with many non-city people in that country . Read books by Joe Bageant which explain it well. Successive US govts as well as big business have completely ignored the blue collar people over many years. Trump is not the answer, I believe but he gives voice to these people and no-one else is listening. It's not just about immigration--it's about everything.

faye lafleur

Absolutely right,Lauren Golden! Two Bushes....3 wars during their presidencies! Obama & Hilary are brilliant people who want what is right for t he people of our country. Republicans only want to pad their pockets. Country is much better off since Obama became president...he is a man of integrity.


The thing that is so truly evil about Islam is that it tells muslims that they have a duty to Allah to forcibly take over the world with their ideology and to destroy all religions except their ideology. It commands male superiority, no free speech, no free artistic expression, no free press, death to homosexuals, death to muslims who leave Islam, death to those who insult Islam or Mohammed.

With Islam, it is is not a case of people who misuse a religion for their own evil purposes. With islam the evil things are exactly what Islam teaches and demands. The sharia courts that the French so foolishly allow to exist are used to keep the muslims in line. They must live sharia or they will be punished or killed. Their leaders do not want them to assimilate. The leaders would then lose contol. Islam would be weakened. It might even be abandoned. But when sharia is enforced muslims cannot escape, because if they become apostate they will be killed.

France still has a chance if it can face up to the fundamental evil of Islam. Somewhere in France there must be some politicians with the backbone and honesty to stand up. Islam needs to legally be declared to not be a religion. Sharia courts need to be outlawed. No court should enforce sharia nor should it be a defense in any criminal prosecution. And muslim immigration needs to cease.

Diane Young

For heaven's sake, stop with the U.S. politics for one day! Kristi, as you can see, there really isn't a safe place on this earth. That's why some of us are relieved to believe in Heaven. You and your family should "keep on keeping on". I once dreamed of retiring to Switzerland. Then I spent some time there and realized I couldn't afford it. Which, by the way, is one of the requirements for living there. You have to either have plenty of money or a job for their government to grant you residence.I'll stick it out in the USA. You will be safe in the arms of God, wherever you live on Earth.

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

You struck a nerve, Kristin. Terrorism is a nasty way to live, forcing the rest of us to deal with our fears of these random events. I find it a challenge to deal with my own fears and more of a challenge to understand the minds of people who carry out these acts, generally losing their own lives in their bizarre acts. In time we will get ahead of these loonies, in France and around the world. I do not have the answers, but we will collectively learn to deal with these crazy people before they go on their rampages. It is a huge challenge but it can be done. It is good that you can write about the fears in all of us so clearly. Naming the fears, that is the first essential step to coping with them.

Maureen Winterhager

A bit sad to see you advertising for Amazon?
They treat their employees appallingly and pay no taxes......
What gives?

Lorna Peterson

I totally agree with you Ken!!
L Peterson

Leslie NYC

I loved Maggie G.'s comment, the very first one.
That, it seems to me, has the power to carry us forward.
So many comments make me wonder if we aren't already in a war that I wasn't aware of.
I live in the middle of NYC but don't think of my life that way.
I try to act with love and respect, with mixed but overall good results.
We need to try to see terrorism and terrorists as clearly as we can, while "removing any cause for war" that we can.
Are we in the west entirely innocent?
Maybe, but maybe not.
This is a time for reflection, rational policy, love, justice.
Does French policy foster a harmonious society?
Maybe, but maybe not.
What is life like in the banlieus of Paris, or Marseille for someone of N. African descent?
I always have a fine time in France, but I am a white American who blends in there.
As for Trump, I shudder at the thought of him winning.
It would be beyond disastrous.
I pray that the world will embrace level-headedness and love.

Fred A Caswell

Wise, written with humility, and illustrated most appropriately (a mon avis). In the "Clergy Corner"of today's local newspapers, a Rabbi stressed that there are no guarantees in life which is filled with hard work, anxiety. suffering, and pain and we need to love and support each other -- so well demonstrated by your recent blogs and photos. Love to all! Merci encore!

Tom B, Atlanta GA

I don't care if you disagree with me! But what about the experts like Ken Burns and Christiane Amanpour?

Raymond Brown

Chere Kristin,

Je m'empresse de vous exprimer ma profonde tristesse a le premier anniversaire du deces de Breizh.

Aussi, merci pour la bonne recette!



Kristin Espinasse

Merci,  Raymond!

Diana Sandberg

Leaving politics aside (whew), just a quick note about "expatriate" - so many people seem to misunderstand this word. It is NOT "ex-patriot" and has nothing to do with your feelings about your former home. "Expatriate" (as a noun) merely means "a person who is living a different country from where they originated". So you are, and there is nothing shameful about it. I have only seen this word misspelled and misunderstood in recent years, and it saddens me because a perfectly good word has begun to turn into a criticism. Sigh.

P.S. They are pronounced slightly differently: the "o" in "patriot" can be pronounced quite strongly, like the "o" in "ox", but more commonly is unstressed and sounds almost like the "u" in "but". The second "a" in "expatriate" is much more like the "i" in "it". (NB - only the noun version. In the verb version, both "a"s sound like the "a" in "day".)

Diana Sandberg

Edit: *...who is living IN a different country..." Sigh again.

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you,  Diana. So helpful!

Twyla davis

Pour trouver la paix, il faut trouver une isle deserte. Ayant dit cela, ne confondrez pas petroitisme and betise!

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